ACEP stands for Active Continuous Examination Program.
It is enforced though the CSC – Convention for Safe Containers of 1972, administrated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
With a goal of assuring the safe handling of containers and protection of human life, the CSC includes regulations for the regular inspection and testing of containers.

The CSC offers two options to ensure containers are inspected regularly :

  • The “Periodic Examination Scheme”, known as PESwherein each individual container must be checked by an expert at a defined regular interval. The deadline for next inspection is engraved on the CSC plate affixed on the right hand door of each container.
  • The “Continuous Examination Program” known as ACEP.The ACEP is available to owners and operators that can demonstrate that each and every container will be inspected by a qualified technician at a maximum interval of 30 months during the course of normal operations.

Given the heavy administration involved with tracking and ensuring each container is inspected on a fixed anniversary date and the obvious impact on efficient operations, most major container owners and operators have opted for the ACEP program.
The CSC states that ACEP agreements are to be delivered by member states’ Administrations, which may elect to delegate the task to private companies known as “Approving Competent Authorities”. Whether delivered by the Administration directly or by an Approving Competent Authority, ACEP numbers are issued to qualified container owners and operators, which in turn must affix the number either with a printed decal or by engraving on the CSC plate of each container.

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